ARC Review: Dance with Me – Alexis Daria

Book cover: Natasha and Dimitri pose on the dance floorThe second book in Alexis Daria’s dancing duology finds one playboy charmer falling for his new roommate.

Natasha Díaz is having a day. She’s trying to prove she can make it as a professional dancer, but she’s overworked, out of cash, and her roommate has just moved out. When she comes home to find a hole in her ceiling and her bedroom flooded, she’s desperate enough to crash with the one guy she can’t quit. She accepts his offer with one condition: no sleeping together while she’s living with him.

Dimitri Kovalenko has never lived with a woman before. But when Tasha’s in need of a place to stay, he suggests she move in without a second thought. He accepts her condition, hoping she won’t stick to it. They’re good together, both in the ballroom and the bedroom. Since their first dance, she’s never been far from his thoughts. Sure, she’s a pro and he’s one of her show’s judges, but they’re not currently filming, so no one needs to know.

Living in close quarters shows Dimitri a side of Natasha he’s never seen before, and he likes it. A lot. Too bad she’s doing everything in her power to keep him at arm’s length. When an injury forces Natasha to take it easy or risk her ability to dance, it’s his chance to show her that the rules have changed, and she can trust him with her heart.

I received an ARC of Dance with Me from NetGalley. I requested this dance romance book, as I am absolutely in love with the first book of the series: Take the Lead. You can check out my review here.

This book is #ownvoices for Puerto Rican American representation.

This book was so different to the first book. I was expecting a really wonderful romance, and I did not get that at all.

The writing style is very organic and flows well. It made it quite easy to get into the story. The dancing and choreography passages are a dream again. It’s wonderful how much of the soul and feeling of dance is conveyed into the writing.

Natasha wears glasses and contact lenses, and I was pleasantly surprised that this was mentioned quite a few times during the story. I was really happy about that!

However, there were quite a few things that I disliked about this book.

The first is that Dimitri isn’t respectful of Natasha’s wishes and demands. She will state that she wants something to be just so, and he will agree – however, when the reader switches to his perspective, they find out that he is planning how to change their mind. Dimitri does not try to understand why Natasha would make certain choices.

Once Natasha is injured, Dimitri practically ignores most of her wishes. Highlight for spoiler: He lays her into his bed, when she wants to sleep, even though she would rather sleep in the guest room. This left me with a very sour feeling.

Natasha’s insinuates numerous times that people don’t strip because they genuinely want to do the job, but for the money. Enjoying the job and having a good work atmosphere seem to be seen as luxuries, that only a few people in the industry have. This is sex-worker antagonistic. I would have preferred it, if there had been some characters that were not just in the industry for the money but also because they really love the job they are doing.

I felt that Dimitri’s overbearingness was romanticised in this book. And he was really not a great person.

I am so surprised that reading this book gave me the complete opposite experience to the first book. I am quite disappointed. However, since I did enjoy Alexis Daria’s writing and I like the premise and setting of the Dance Off books, I will still read other books by her.

If you don’t like reading books with a lot of sex in them, this isn’t the right book for you.

Trigger warning: sex-worker antagonism.

1 star

Have you read Dance with Me? Do you know of any other dance books?


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